I got a new pair of Audeo Smart IX HAs at the end of January. After setting them up with the default factory settings for my hearing profile, I was amazed at the improvement over my previous HAs (Bernafon Icos BTE from Costco). At home that evening, I could hear my wife from across the room with her back to me speaking normally. The next day, I found the fan noise was too loud every time the HAs switched back to the automatic setting when I would switch off the iCom. I went back to the audiologist (whom I will call K) that day to have them adjusted down by 8dB.
That was a mistake. I now could only understand my wife speaking if she raised her voice and was facing me—just like the old HAs. At my follow-up appointment two weeks later, I had them adjusted back up by 6dB. That night, the left HA seemed to switch in a 20dB attenuator randomly. With the myPilot, I could switch from mute to automatic and it would be normal. When it happened a few days later, I had to switch the HA off and on for it to go away. Then it happened more and more frequently until it would not change back to normal at all. With the left HA volume at maximum and the right at minimum, the right one was still louder.
K gave me another HA to try. It worked great. But this allowed me to notice that the right HA seemed to be switching on and off some of the channels. That was incredibly annoying, but I put up with it for a week until the next appointment last Monday. K gave me another HA for the right ear. On the bus ride home from K’s, it began crackling. At home, when I ran the water in the kitchen sink, it began a sort of musical buzzing sound like you would hear in a thriller or horror movie when you are supposed to be on the edge of your seat. This didn’t seem to be feedback because blocking the microphone and receiver did not stop it. It would squeal with feedback sometimes that would be stopped by sticking my finger in my ear to block the receiver from the microphone, or using the myPilot to mute the HAs. It would also shut down at times so that I had to switch it off and on to get it working again.
I was able to see R, who is K’s dispenser, and the Phonak representative (whom I will call P) last Thursday. When I first sat down with them, it squealed, so they heard the feedback themselves. P made adjustments which seemed to help. I went out to eat breakfast and experienced the crackling again in the noise of the restaurant. I called K’s office and spoke to P who had to leave, but let R know what to do. When I got there, K took me in and made some changes, which seemed to work there, but when I used the restroom, the noise of the toilet flushing made the crackling happen again. I went back again and this time, R took me in and told K that P told her what to do. After changing the receiver and the settings in the HA, I did the toilet flush test and there was no crackling. Yay! K said she was ordering another HA just to be sure.
The next day, it was all back. This time, the feedback was not a squeal, but a painful scream! This morning, I called K’s office and told them what happened and that I could not wear the right HA because of the painful screaming and asked to be seen as soon as the new HA arrived. Unbelievably, a half hour after I called, the left HA seemed to switch in a 20dB attenuator.
Does anyone have any suggestions? These are supposed to be top of the line, but two different pairs seem to be lemons.